Law school launches New York Regulatory & Business Externship

Law students have a new opportunity to learn firsthand about the practice of business associations and regulation in the nation’s largest city through Washington University in St. Louis School of Law’s New York City Regulatory & Business Externship.

Offered for the first time this fall, the semester-long clinical experience includes a variety of legal externship opportunities, including those with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, New York City Department of Finance, Standard & Poor’s/McGraw Hill, Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Attorney General’s Office, Anheuser-Busch’s New York headquarters and the New York City Law Department.

“The overarching goal of the New York City Regulatory & Business Externship is to provide opportunities for our students to engage in critical reflection about the legal profession, business regulation and entrepreneurship while further developing lawyering skills and professional values,” says Kent Syverud, dean and the Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor.

“The program also allows us to expand our national reach in yet another city of strategic importance to our students, faculty and alumni.”

The externship is among the Clinical Education Program’s 15 distinct local, national and international clinical opportunities. It follows a model similar to the longstanding and highly successful Congressional & Administrative Law Program in Washington, D.C., which places law students in semester-long externships on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies and at the Brookings Institution.

The New York program also is being offered in conjunction with Washington University’s Olin Business School, including a companion course in ethics with students from both schools.

Law school adjunct professors and New York attorneys Sasha Polonsky, JD, a Washington University law alum, and Zack Shankman, JD, are directing the externship program.

The New York City externship is an enhancement to the law school’s current curriculum in business associations and other entity regulation and law. It is designed to provide advanced opportunities for eligible second- and third-year law students to be immersed in hands-on learning about business associations, investment banking and corporate entities, including with regulators, in a city widely considered a mecca for the banking and business industries.

The program also fosters interdisciplinary experiences between business and law that prepare students for careers in business law.

Under the direction of attorney supervisors, the students will gain practical and technical experience from client representation and work with regulators in the various placements.

“The immersion in the various environments allows our students to further develop legal skills and judgment, both of which are invaluable to becoming effective attorneys,” says Janet Bolin, JD, associate dean of admissions and student services.

“Our students will benefit from both the mentoring of their attorney supervisors and the guidance of a faculty member as they gain a level of experiential training and learning designed to allow a more rapid transition to practice in their postgraduate careers,” she says.

“The New York City Regulatory & Business Externship is ideal for me because of my strong interest in financial regulation and capital markets,” says third-year law student David Myrie, who is pursuing a joint JD/MBA degree.

“The New York externship will allow me to further explore issues related to the Volcker Rule’s impact on investment fund structuring,” he says.